Recent sightings from 24 to 30 June 2019

The week started off at Goldcliff Lagoons with the Spoonbill remaining the main attraction. Ringed and little ringed plover, black-tailed godwit, lapwing and redshank were also still about, as were a few dunlins. A wood sandpiper was a surprise guest on Tuesday. Shoveler, teal and wigeon were amongst the ducks present at the lagoons, whilst the warblers were still quite active at Newport Wetlands reserve. The bearded reedling was rather elusive this week, but a male was finally spotted on Saturday. The mudflats saw a huge increase in numbers of shelduck and curlew. There were up to 25 curlews and shelduck numbers rose to nearly 300 by Friday. On Thursday, a pair of shelduck with 10 ducklings was spotted. In terms of raptors there were a few sightings of kestrel, sparrowhawk, marsh harrier and buzzard, but highlights were two peregrines on Saturday and a hobby which was hunting over the reserve for three consecutive days from Wednesday to Friday. On Thursday, we were treated to some lovely close-up views of this winged beauty when the hobby was seen flying close to the visitor centre for a short while. Chiffchaff, blackcap, common and lesser whitethroat were all very vocal and could be heard all over the reserve. Some other amazing sightings for the week were an otter on Tuesday, three redstarts on Thursday and a grass snake and water vole on Friday. There were plenty more winged beauties with loads of butterflies, moths, damselflies and dragonflies on the wing. Four-spotted chaser and the huge emperor were the most common dragonflies and common blue and blue-tailed were dominant within the damselflies. The most spectacular of the moths is probably the day flying scarlet tiger moth and it is always special to see it. Five-spot burnet moths were regular sights over the reedbeds. We were treated to a big variety of butterflies: large and small white, marbled white, common and holly blue, large skipper, meadow brown, ringlet, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, brimstone and speckled wood. Not to forget the painted lady which arrived here after an epic journey from north Africa. One bird that will soon start migrating back in the other direction is the cuckoo which was still spotted here on Saturday. This illustrates nicely that nature never stands still and things are changing constantly with the seasons. You never know for sure what you will see when and that is one of the beauties of watching nature!

National Meadows Day on Saturday 6th July will be another great opportunity to go watching out for butterflies. Come and join us for an event full of activities and fun for the whole family, booking essential. Don’t forget to mark the popular Big Wild Sleepout on 17th August in your calendar. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brimstone, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Common whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Garden warbler, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Greylag goose, Herring gull, Hobby, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Lesser whitethroat, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little ringed plover, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Redshank, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Sand martin, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Spoonbill, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted duck, Wigeon, Willow warbler, Wood sandpiper, Woodpigeon and Wren.

Please note that we take our recent sightings list from the visitor sightings board that anyone can contribute to. This is great as everyone can get involved, but obviously can lead to potential errors too as they aren’t always verified! We try to keep this list as accurate as possible but if you see something unusual feel free to comment here!


Photo credit: Painted Lady by Stefan Zitzmann